Larry Kudlow: 100% Grifter, 100% of the Time

The first important question about life in a time of pandemic is: where do you get your information to keep from being overwhelmed and misinformed? Misinformation can and does come from almost everywhere. When Deborah Brix in the White House briefing room says that right now there is no ventilator shortage, many of the reporters in front of her and the watchers on the TV think: “and we can easily produce enough ventilators and distribute them in a timely fashion that there will not be”. That second is an unwarranted inference—something that her political masters want the audience to believe, but that she almost surely does not believe. We put to one side the question: how does she expect to live with herself? The question for us is: how do we parse and understand the flow? Here Rad Geek has some very useful advice: Rad Geek: The Infovore’s Dilemma 'In circumstances that lead to a high risk of groupthink and overreach, it’s a reason to explicitly employ evidential markers when reporting claims; it’s a reason to cite and link to specific sources for specific claims rather than simply repeating them or presenting them as What Experts Are Saying, and it’s a reason for readers to spend some time following links and footnotes where they have been made available, or to significantly discount stories that don’t bother to provide them.... In a high info-garbage environment, it is often worthwhile to deliberately limit, compartmentalize or substitute the consumption of certain kinds of low-quality or risky information. In particular, to restrict your intake of information where the persuasive power of the presentation is especially likely to outrun its real evidential import.... You are almost certainly better off reading the abstract and a paragraph or two of one scientific paper than you are reading through an explainer article attempting to gloss the conclusion of that paper while weaving it together narratively with interviews from two or three other pronouncements by experts in the field. Commentary is prone to be less valuable than reporting, and reporting less valuable than sources or data.... The sources to be most selective about will often be the ones that seem the most appealing from the standpoint of your own social and ideological starting-points. Consume thoughtful discussion and information, not too much, mostly data...

#noted #2020-03-24